How to Do Alternate Picking on Guitar

What is Alternate picking - pick faster and smoother by alternating your pick motion
Hey. I’m Will. Thanks a lot for joining me today, guys. I’ve got another really cool video for you, another cure to a common mistake that guitarists make when you’re learning right here on YouTube. Today I’m going to talk about alternate picking. This video is really connected with the last four videos that I’ve released. I’ve got two on right-hand stability and two on how you hold a pick. Now, this is totally connected with those other videos. So we’re going to get into alternate picking in a second, but if you haven’t checked-out those videos they are online and available for your consumption for free. So go check those out. And if you are all up to speed with the WillRipley.com lessons, we’re going to learn it from your point of view. So let’s talk about alternate picking. So we’ve got this right hand and in my last four videos, we got our right hand stabilized. We’ve got the pick held in the correct way. We’ve got that pick on an angle and we’re looking really good. Nice work, guys. So that’s all solid. Now, what I want to talk to you about is alternate picking. What are we alternating? Were alternating down and up. It’s really as simple as that. Why do we want to alternate? Well, for a bunch of reasons. We want to alternate if we’re playing anything fast. We want to alternate to make what were playing sound less static and inject more rhythm into it. What ends up happening is we most commonly will play down strokes. That’s kind of like our tendency right off the bat, is just to down stroke. Now, down strokes are kind of like your right hand; an upstroke is kind of like your left hand. Your right hand is strong and you’ve got more control over it, whereas your left hand is a little weaker and you have less control over it. However, think about it this way. What would life be without both hands? Same thing with guitar playing. We need both directions of the pick in order to get the full spectrum of a rhythm and speed and accuracy and all that kind of stuff. So let’s put this to work. What we’re going to do is we’re going to grab this classic little workout. I know it doesn’t sound that cool, however, we’re just worried about getting this going on today. What were going to do is alternate with each of those notes. Generally speaking, before we start with a downstroke. So we’ve got all our good stability and pick holding going on and now let’s start with a downstroke now we’ll go for an upstroke and repeat. You can do this anywhere, by the way. We’re just trying everything in with all those other videos that I was talking about. So that’s alternate picking for you guys. Keep on ripping it up.

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